Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Lyon and Payback — Pens LOSE 3-2

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Yes, hockey is a funny game.

Last night, Alex Lyon couldn’t stop a nose bleed and didn’t even finish the game, a 5-0 Penguins win Friday, then comes back Saturday night at home and shuts down the Penguins for most of the game, including a 5:00 stretch of major penalty in the second period and the Penguins lose this one tonight by a score of 3-2.

12 power plays awarded tonight by the whistle of referee Reid Anderson. As I have gotten older I have steered away from the “referees cost the Penguins games” mantra. I mean, if it’s egregious and a referee is ruining the game because he is having a bad night I will call it out, but in this instance, Anderson awarded six power plays a side and the Penguins allowed a power play goal and scored a power play goal and were not able to score on a 5:00 major penalty in the second period. So it is as even as even can get from a perspective of the man in the orange arm band is concerned tonight.

Fact of the matter is, special teams battles are becoming the Achilles heel of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and we are only three games in.

Tristan Jerry opposed Alex Lyon.

Lines were…

Zach Aston-Reese – Teddy Blueger – Daniel Sprong
Dominik Simon – Adam Johnson – Christian Thomas
Garrett Wilson – J-S Dea – Tom Kostopoulos
Tom Sestito – Jarrett Burton – Thomas Di Pauli

Andrey Pedan – Lukas Bengtsson
Zach Trotman – Kevin Czuczman
Dylan Zink – Frank Corrado

Tristan Jarry – Casey DeSmith

Lineup Notes: There were not any, save for Jarry in goal for DeSmith.

First Period: Penguins had 1:15 of 5-on-3 time that they could not score on. Pens had plenty of chances, but with those chances came open lanes that the Phantoms allowed Lyon to get a look at the puck and make the save.

Phantoms come back and score a goal on the power play. Matt Read knocked this one in to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead…

The Pens had allowed just one goal in 357:08 prior to that goal by Read. Putting that in perspective, 360 minutes is six games.

Second Period: Penguins fall behind 2-0 when Andrey Pedan loses his edge and falls down in the neutral zone giving a 3-on-1 odd mad rush to the Phantoms the other way when Mike Vecchione scores.

T.J. Brennan got thrown out of the game for this cross check on Jarrett Burton….

That drew the ire of Tom Sestito who was nearby and let Brennan know about it….

But the Penguins were unable to score on the 5:00 major penalty. The Penguins had the puck in the zone for a good three minutes. Daniel Sprong hit a post.

Third Period: Phantoms score again on a failed clear by the Penguins. Greg Carey put home a rebound…

Penguins got one back off the stick of Daniel Sprong that made it 3-1…

That gave Sprong three goals in three games. Here is another look…

Some of the comments on the GIF posted by Coal Street were that Sprong’s shot is unfair to the other team. It’s really hard to disagree.

Andrey Pedan, who had an awful game, was called for hooking Danick Martel while Martel was on a breakaway. Reid Anderson awarded a penalty shot to Martel that Jarry made the save on….

Before you start with the, “Jarry sucks, play DeSmith” argument, Nick Hart offers this….

Garrett Wilson scored to pull the Pens to within one with this goal parked in front of Lyon’s crease…

Another look…

The Penguins, with Jarry pulled for an extra attacker, were never able to find the equalizer.

Three Stars: 3) Alex Lyon (27 saves on 29 shots) 2) matt Read (goal, +1) and 1) Mike Vecchione (goal, +1)

Around the Division: Charlotte exacts some revenge with Bridgeport after the Sound Tigers beat the Checkers Friday with a 3-2 win…Belleville gets their first win of the season beating Hershey in the Bears home opener by a 5-2 score…Utica beats Syracuse 3-2…Toronto beats Providence by the same score and Hartford beats Springfield 4-3.

Standings: Charlotte and Hartford with 6 each, Providence with 4 on percentage over Lehigh Valley with 5, then Penguins and Sound Tigers with two and then Springfield and Hershey with 0.

Wheeling Update: Hunter Fejes had four goals, but it was Garrett Meurs with the overtime game winner as the Nailers win a barn burner with the Swamp Rabbits down in Greenville. SC by a score of 7-6.

Don’t know if Coal Street will post highlight so this one. If I see the Phantoms put one up I will edit it in.

Pens finish up the weekend with a home game against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Syracuse Crunch at 3:05 p.m. Gameday setup will hit the blog Sunday at 11.

Let’s Go Pens!

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